A New Project

I’ve been planning on making a custom arduino based industrial I/O module for a while. Something that, with the arduino IDE, would in effect be a structured text PLC. However, an arduino uno or nano would make for a limited system in terms of program size and built-in functionality. An alternative would be to make a custom chipset that programs like an arduino, but, chipsets like that have already been developed. One such chipset module is the esp32 wrover-b. I’ve wanted to begin developing with the esp32, and this project to make a PLC seems to me a perfect place to start.

My tentative specifications are:

1. Exploit all available wrover-b I/O pins to have industrially hardy, 24VDC, opto-isolated programmable DI/DO and AI/AO where feasible.

2. Wire esp32 wrover-b communication pins to expansion ports to connect with I/O expandion boards. It is acceptable to use an interposing uC as necessary to support addition communication protocols. Optoisolate or otherwise protect all communications ports as much as can be done without harming speed or signal strength.

3. Include a programming port for the wrover-b, preferably supporting micro usb.

4. Program the esp32 to accept wifi connections for output overrides or reading of inputs, serving an html page to facillitate this and also responding to certain get requests with just the requested data for data polling. All with as much security as I can give it.

Lumilor

I’ve been introduced to a painting process called Lumilor that can make any surface emit light. There are a lot of cool things that can be done with controllable glowing paint. The christmas lights applications alone are mind boggling.

CapJuice Circuit Boards.

After significant issues with delays while trying to get boards from PCBCart, I have decided to switch to an alternate vendor.

PCBCart had me pay up front and the delay in getting boards from them is now over a month, and I’ve had to pay double to the vendor to insure rapid delivery.

Circuit Board Supply Issues

The failed UPS delivery is still causing me problems. I’m so ready to get started on this. I’ve got my parts and my design, all I need is the circuit boards to make a decent looking product. I even ordered extra of the darn things, more than I will ever need of this version of the boards, but apparently, taking precautions is useless when your package disappears.

So as not to just be a whiner, the solution to this is pretty simple. The package recipient is given a code to give to the delivery person on receipt of the package. This acts in place of a signature. The only potential flaw to this is that the company must then prevent drivers from ever having access to the people in the company who have access to the receipt codes.

A more secure system is somewhat more complicated. The receiver is sent an SMS on delivery with a code, and must supply it to the delivery person, then the delivery person enters that code into a scanner and a new code is generated which is given to the package receiver. The package receiver must then text the new code back in response to the original SMS. Then the package is considered delivered. This system could only be cracked by the driver somehow getting a hold of the customer’s unlocked cell phone.

Very disappointed in UPS

Was awaiting an important package for CapJuice, to be delivered today. I get an email from UPS saying that my package had been delivered to my front door, which came as shock to me as I’d been about three feet from my open front door at the claimed delivery time. Contacted UPS, they said they’d have the driver call me. Instead, someone else calls me and I need to have the sender start an investigation.

I couldn’t be less satisfied with this service.